Over the past month, we at Igniting Hope Ministries have been giving keys for having the best year yet in 2017. These can be found in our daily hope injections (daily videos found on our Instagram and Facebook pages). Now for a little bit of fun, we thought we’d share five sure-fire ways to have a horrible 2017 (along with a few keys to turn it around):
1) Complain a lot –
Make sure to give voice to every negative thing you feel. Don’t hold anything back. Do your best to make people around you know that they and others are the reason for your unhappiness.
Listening to and giving room for every thought to take up residence in your daily life, without regard to what you know to be the truth, gives the enemy ample opportunity to wreak havoc on your mindsets, identity, and relationships. Not only that, victim mindsets begin to take root and powerlessness prevails. Align yourself with the truth, especially when it feels the least true. In time, your feelings will follow, victim mindsets will be a thing of the past, and living powerful and free will be your new normal!
2) Do only what you feel like doing –
Don’t think long-term, but make all decisions based on whether it makes you happy now. Don’t be concerned if it negatively impacts others or your future happiness.
Living only for the here and now may be gratifying in the moment, but you will quickly discover that it allows for very little momentum to be built for your future. What goals and dreams do you long to see come to pass in the next year? Be a dreamer! Cast vision! Set priorities and goals to see them fulfilled. When you have the end goal in mind, you realize that self-discipline, hard work, and sacrifice are the necessary by-products of a person pregnant with vision for their future. It may not always be easy, but it will definitely be worth it!
3) Watch/read the news more than you feed your spirit –
Make it your priority to feed on world news more than reading the Bible or connecting with the things of God.
World news is often questionably biased and inaccurate, and one thing we can rely on is that it almost always focuses on what’s going wrong in the world, rather than what’s going right. This carries with it an undertone of fear and division, leading you to think that the problems presented are insurmountable and bigger than any one person or group of people can handle.
The reality is, our thoughts about a problem are usually a bigger problem than the actual problem! We are called to be thermostats, not thermometers. Consistently feeding your spirit on God’s Word and His truth will not only give you a Kingdom perspective, but it will empower you to create Kingdom culture wherever you go – a culture focused on hope and unity.
4) Be selfish –
Don’t find ways to help others. Be sure to hoard your time, your money, and your gifts.
An orphan mindset assumes there is only so much to go around, therefore, I need to protect what is mine in case there isn’t enough. We need to remember that God is not only a God of abundance and multiplication, but He is also the ultimate loving Father. When we acknowledge Him as such and step over the threshold from orphanhood into the fullness of our identities as sons and daughters, selfishness falls away and in its place, generosity resides.
When we give of ourselves, when we share what we have with others without reservation, it enables us to live out of the overflow of God’s goodness and provision. Our relationships flourish and we soon discover that life lived with an open hand adds immeasurably more than we could ever give away! Generosity is an invitation to feast on the richness of all that life has to offer.
5) Value tasks/goals above relationships –
Believe that heart connections with people are not as important as getting things done.
When your vision becomes more important than the people in your life, especially those you are leading, they become a commodity at your disposal. In the end, you may achieve some great success, but who will you have to enjoy it with if it is at the expense of your relationships?
You add value to people when you make it a priority to value them. The goal should not be to become a person of success but a person of value. It is when we make that distinction that we open the door to becoming great influencers. When that happens, success will naturally follow.
For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.